06/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Asperger's Syndrome (AS) Or Typical Male Behavior (TMB)?

Asperger's Syndrome is a disorder that's been diagnosed relatively recently. Those with AS, according to doctors, have an inability to interact socially and lack of basic communication skills. Now, I don't mean to belittle those with Aspies-as it's known in the lay-community, but to me, these "symptoms" sound a lot like the characteristics of your average, red meat-eating American male.

So let's take a look at the a few of Asperger's more acute symptoms and decide for ourselves: Asperger's Syndrome (AS) or Typical Male Behavior (TMB)?

1. Those with AS have difficulty communicating and making inferences about what another person is thinking. Showing empathy is possibly the most dysfunctional aspect of Asperger's.

Like the time a recently divorced male friend slept on the couch of his best guy friend for two weeks upon leaving his wife. When I asked the best friend what was the reason for his male friend's separation, the best friend replied, "I don't know. We didn't talk about it."


2. Those with Asperger's are not withdrawn, but approach others, even if awkwardly by engaging in a one-sided, long-winded speech about a favorite topic while misunderstanding or not recognizing other's feelings or reactions, such as a desire to get away.

In other words, every man that's ever approached and hit on a woman in a bar.

AS or TMB?

3. Those with ASD display an intense interest in very specific, narrow topics is a common feature of those with AS. They may collect volumes of detailed information on the topic without necessarily understanding the bigger picture.

This sounds suspiciously like men who read and store superhuman amounts of arcane facts, figures and trivia about every sports team, game and athlete from the annals of history - while never having played an actual sport.

AS or TMB?

4. Most individuals with AS improve with time, but difficulties with communication, social interaction and independent living continue into adulthood.

There is a reason the TV-watching, chore-shirking, grunting-as-an-acceptable-form-of-conversation husband is a stereotype.

AS or TMB?

Some researchers have advocated a shift in attitude toward the view that AS is a "difference," rather than a disability that must be treated or cured. Clearly, this diagnosis was pushed by male researchers empathetic to the plights of their gender. Many famous figures are thought to have AS. They include Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Mozart, Al Gore, Bob Dylan, Bill Gates and Charles Darwin. Of course, they do. They are all very famous men. But the cause or causes of Asperger's are still unknown. Actually, we do know. It's called having an X and a Y chromosome.

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